Donation Brings New Trees To Urbana After Emerald Ash Borer

Freshly planted trees where a ceremony will honor Urbana tree donors

Freshly planted trees where a ceremony will honor Urbana tree donors.

Daniel Baker/Illinois Public Media

Urbana lost 500 trees in the last three years because of the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that infects ash trees. 

A $10,000 gift to the city of Urbana will fund the planting of 85 new trees across the city. 

Urbana’s Cooperative Tree Planting Program will aid the city in its goal to plant more than 200 trees in Spring 2018. 

Mike Brunk is the Urbana City Arborist. Brunk says trees help reduce pollution. 

“There’s a number of values for our urban forest that we don’t think about on a daily basis, and the loss of those trees, openings in our urban canopies affect those benefits," said Brunk. 

He says trees can reduce energy consumption by providing shade in the summer–and redirecting wind away from homes in the winter. 

Both of these things can ultimately help reduce Urbana’s carbon footprint. 

Brunk says it is rewarding to care for the city’s urban forest. 

“Trees are my way of fulfilling my life dream, which is to improve and work with the community and improving the environment," said Brunk. 

An Arbor Day event on Friday afternoon will honor Urbana residents Dr. Holly Rosencranz, Warren Lavey and the Urbana Rotary Club for their donation to the city. 

Brunk will speak at the event along with Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, and the president of the Urbana Rotary Club, starting at 2:00pm in the parkway near 105 Meadowview Drive.

The City of Champaign and Village of Savoy are also holding Arbor Day events on Friday. The event in Savoy begins at 11:00am at William A. Smith Park, and Champaign's event starts at 12:40pm in front of Champaign Central High School on University Avenue.

Story source: WILL